readingchallenge

My ‘Classic’ Women Reading Challenge 2020

Image result for victorian painting

I’ve been meaning to get into classics for several years now, and although I’ve read a handful a year, I’m determined to really up my game this year. I’m particularly looking forward to getting to know some of the more obscure women writers that I’ve seen mentioned on various blog and booktube channels.

I’m setting myself a personal target to try at least one novel by a ‘classic’ woman writer and at least one other classic (of any type/ author) each month next year. I’ll be combining my personal goals with some existing readathons: #Victober, #Georgianary, #ClassicsCommunity and #JaneAustenJuly. *Phew!*

I’ve picked 12 female authors who published work pre-1914. They’re all pretty prolific and pretty well-known — I think — so should be easy enough to find a good selection to choose from. If this works well, I’ll try and pick a wider, more diverse 12 to carry on with in 2021 as I’ve noticed how this list is mostly British Georgian/ Victorian and entirely white. Suggestions for that would be appreciated.

If you’d like to join me, just choose any book by the selected author to read each month. Then, feel free to link reviews, twitter updates and photos or post your thoughts and discussion points in the comments. You can also use the hashtag #classicwomen2020 to keep in touch.

Obviously, if there’s an author you’re just not interested in, feel free to substitute one you are.

 

All the authors names link to their Project Gutenberg page.

 

January:   FANNY BURNEY

 

February:   MARIA EDGEWORTH

 

March:  EMMUSKA ORCZY

 

April:   DINAH MARIA MULOCK CRAIK

 

May:   MARY ELIZABETH BRADDON

 

June:   MARGARET OLIPHANT

 

July:   JANE AUSTEN

This is also the month for the Jane Austen July readathon so it makes sense to put this here. I know Austen’s popular though, so if you already read or don’t fancy her books, try ELIZABETH INCHBALD instead.

 

August:   ELIZABETH VON ARNIM

 

September:   GEORGE ELIOT

 

October:   EMILY, ANNE OR CHARLOTTE BRONTE

This is the Victober readathon month, so I’ve made it pretty open with a couple to pick from. I really recommend trying Anne’s lesser known two novels.

 

November:   MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT SHELLEY

If you’ve read Frankenstein and don’t fancy Shelley’s other books, try Adeline Mowbray by AMELIA OPIE which is loosely based on Mary’s life.

 

December:   ELIZABETH GASKELL

 

 

My potential TBR

 

January:   Evelina by Fanny Burney

February:  Belinda by Maria Edgeworth

March:  The Ninescore Mystery by Emmuska Orczy

April:  Olive by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

May:  Lady Audley’s Secret by M. E. Braddon

June:   The Executor, The Rector & The Doctor’s Family by Mrs. Oliphant

July: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen & A Simple Story by Elizabeth Inchbald

August:  The Benefactress by Elizabeth von Arnim

September:  Middlemarch by George Eliot

October:   Villette by Charlotte Brontë

November:   Mathilda by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

December:   North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell & perhaps some of her short stories

23 thoughts on “My ‘Classic’ Women Reading Challenge 2020”

    1. I’m actually really looking forward to it! Which is exciting. I was so set against reading classics for years after the things we got forced on us in school. I’ve been really interested to see all the options out there.

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